Bequia, Marigot Bay, St.Anne, St Pierre, Les Saints.

Next stop ….Bequia (pronounced Beckway)

Fishermen in the bay.

Fishermen in the bay.

Bequia

Bequia

Turtle Sanctuary - Bequia

Turtle Sanctuary – Bequia

We sailed past The Pitons and on to Marigot Bay in St Lucia.

St Lucia - The Pitons

St Lucia – The Pitons

St Lucia – Marigot Bay

Marigot Bay had the best Indian food restaurant we’ve ever eaten.

After a few days in Marigot we left for Martinique. I’d been looking forward to Martinique since we sailed past in May and it didn’t disappoint. We anchored at St Anne’s and had spectacular sunset views every night.

St Anne's anchorage Martinique

St Anne’s anchorage Martinique

St Anne's anchorage Martinique

St Anne’s anchorage Martinique

Most mornings Marielle delivered fresh croissants/pain au chocolate.

Croissants delivered to the boat - Marielle

Croissants delivered to the boat – Marielle

Mt Pele in the clouds

Mt Pele in the clouds

Our next stop in Martinique was St Pierre. Mt Pele looms in the distance as a reminder that as beautiful as it is here Mother Nature can throw a wicked curve ball.

At the turn of the last century, St Pierre was the Paris of the Caribbean. In 1902 Mt Pele erupted and destroyed the city and all but two of its 30000 residents. The only two survivors were a criminal in a jail cell and a cobbler.

Mt. Pele - Martinique

Mt. Pele – Martinique

From St Pierre Martiniqu we sailed to Dominica. This was on of very few stops we made on our dash down to Grenada. We loved it and felt that we hadn’t seen enough of it.

Celebrating American Thanksgiving with our boat family aboard Vidorra in Dominica

Celebrating American Thanksgiving with our boat family aboard Vidorra in Dominica

Dominican Indian River tour with Alex as our Guide

Dominican Indian River tour with Alex as our Guide

The old fort - Dominica

The old fort – Dominica

Looking at the anchorage from the new fort

Looking at the anchorage from the new fort

Then on to Les Saints which is part of Guadeloupe, another French island.

Looking at the anchorage from the Fort in Les Saints

Looking at the anchorage from the Fort in Les Saints

Guadaloupe in the distance

Guadaloupe in the distance

Les Saints Fort

Les Saints Fort

After Les Saints we traveled halfway up the west coast of Guadaloupe to a Jacque Cousteau Haritage Park at Pigeon Island to meet our friend John and Marcia on S/v Remora.

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Grenada to Tobago Keys – North from Granada – 2016

We enjoyed our stay in Grenada but by the end of a very hot summer (110 F most days), we were ready to leave.

After a few improvements and maintainance items were taken care of we set sail for the Grenadian Island of Carriacou. Our friends Lauren and Brian on Nightingale Tune were ready and sailed along with us.

Carriacou beach

Carriacou beach

Sandy island is a lovely little spit of sand and trees just outside Tyrell Bay. We spent several days snorkelling, sunning, having happy hour on the beach and celebrating Brian’s birthday with an awesome lobster dinner on Nightingale Tune. Lauren is an amazing cook and Brian an excellent grill master.

Happy hour - Sandy Island

Happy hour – Sandy Island

Randy and Brian made the long dinghy ride to Tyrell bay to clear us out before we sailed over to Union Island to clear into St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Happy Island

Happy Island

We only stayed long enough to get the paperwork done and grab a drink on Happy Island (we’d hoped for food too but “no food today, mon”) .

Union island

Union island

Our friends on Vidorra were waiting for us at Petite St. Vincent anchorage. So good to see them again! There’s another little spit of sand but  without trees near Petite St. Vincent where we spent a lovely afternoon snorkelling and playing on what felt like our own Island Paradise!

Friends in our Island paradise

Friends in our Island paradise

Our own private island in paradise

Our own private island in paradise

Thank you to Lauren for these amazing photographs!

There were more islands calling us so after a few days we were off again. This time to Salt Whistle Bay….which was way too crowded, so we returned to  Saline Bay.  This is a lovely bay, great holding, but sometime during the night the dump was set on fire as they do in the islands, and the stench was overpowering.  Not a good night’s sleep at all.

Our friends racing to Saline Bay.

Our friends racing to Saline Bay.

On our way there John and Jen on Corpse Pounder caught up to us and joined us on the way to Saline where we had the bay mostly to our selves and our friends Mark and Joanna on Discofish are anchored. We had a lovely happy hour on the beach until the no-see-ums joined us. They are such party poopers!

The next day we we all went around to Tobago Keys where there is a lovely reef for snorkelling and a turtle sanctuary.

Tobago Keys

Tobago Keys

On the east side of the reef is one of the islands used in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Where's the rhum?

Where’s the rhum?

Cocktails on a little island in the Tabago Keys

Cocktails on a little island in the Tabago Keys

 

 

The Summer in Grenada

Grenada – The Spice Island

The pool at Le Phare Bleu Marina helped keep us cool!

Lush green vegetation, beautiful blue water, gorgeous beaches and happy friendly people make Grenada an excellent place to spend some time. I recommend doing it in the winter months though, as daily temperatures of 110 in the middle of summer are exhausting. That said we still had a wonderful time.

We had tons of fun! There was always fun things going on and some we made up as we went along.

The Sandy Feet crew arriving for Randy's birthday party!

The Sandy Feet crew arriving for Randy’s birthday party!

Randy keeping his cool!

Randy keeping his cool!

Randy's Birthday party

Randy’s Birthday party

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Pot Luck – sometimes rain moved us inside

We love our boat kids!

We love our boat kids!

And each other

And each other

A sailing regatta

A sailing regatta

Monkeying around on a tour

Monkeying around on a tour

The rhum factory

The rhum factory

Dinner out

Dinner out

Our friend Susan's visit

Our friend Susan’s visit

Sunset

Sunset

Dinner out

Dinner out

Dinner in

Dinner in

Dinghy rides

Dinghy rides

Nature tour

Nature tour

Coco pods

Coco pods

Carnival - we mas!

Carnival – we mas!

Friday nights at Container park - everyone is there, boaters, locals, and med students

Friday nights at Container park – everyone is there, boaters, locals, and med students

Boat Body Boot Camp! Thank you Elizabeth!  Yup, we worked out in that heat - crazy

Boat Body Boot Camp! Thank you Elizabeth!
Yup, we worked out in that heat – crazy

Then lounged by the pool

Then lounged by the pool

We met so many wonderful people, saw the sights and ate very well. Granada was a blast!

 

 

 

 

Sail, Anchor, Eat, Sleep, Repeat, Repeat

We had a pretty good window to get from Dominica to Grenada. It was long enough to stop every night but not to stay and visit.

Good Bye Dominica! We'll be back!

Good Bye Dominica! We’ll be back!

We left the northern end of Dominica early and sailed to the southern end of Martinique with just enough daylight to drop the anchor. We ate a light dinner, slept and were up again before first light.

This was going to be a long day. We’d heard reports of thievery and an attitude of cruisers being unwelcome in both St. Lucia and St Vincent, so we sailed right past them.

Sailing past

Sailing past

Lots of empty anchorages along the coast. The sailing community is good about communicating both the good and the bad about marinas and anchorages.  We arrived in Bequia in fairly good time.

No time to stay

No time to stay

Hello - Good-bye. I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!

Hello – Good-bye. I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!

Dropped the anchor, got fuel delivered to the boat, ate, slept and headed out the next day to Carriacou.

We were making good time and thought we would stay in Carriacou for a few days. It is part of Grenada and a good place to clear into the country. When we arrived we were greeted by our friends Diane and Richard aboard Rodinyard. img_3656We hadn’t seen them since we made the overnight passage from Turks and Caicos to Dominican Republic. They had plans to leave to the main Island of Granada the next day.  So we decided to tag along. Anchor, eat, sleep and off we go again!

Finally! A beam reach!

Finally! A beam reach!

The sail from Carriacou is one of the nicest sails we’ve had. Our original plan was to sail the windward side because the wind would be better. But when we got out and started heading in that direction the waves were nasty. So, we angled across the north coast, through the dotting of lovely little islands to the leeward side. The angle was just perfect and Moorahme was a happy girl gliding through the waves like she was meant to do.

Sail! Past Kick 'em Jenny

Sail! Past Kick ’em Jenny

Of course the thing about the leeward side is when you get somewhere near the middle there is no wind. We tried to turn the engine on and….nothing! Oh oh! While Randy went below to figured out the problem, Rodinyard caught up to us and waited until we were underway again. Thank goodness for handy husbands and caring friends!

Once underway the sea was calm as glass until we made the turn along the southern coast! The wind and waves were pretty strong out of the east, so, right on the nose, again! I’m tired of this on the nose business! We made it into Clarks Court bay where we planned to haul the boat for painting.

Because we were concerned about the starter, we requested tying to the wall. Weekends in the islands see pretty much no one around. We were told that customs wasn’t open and we’d have to wait til Monday. We know we can’t step off the boat if we aren’t cleared in so we stayed on the boat at the concrete wall. Rodinyard was nicely anchored and came over to visit.

"We Made It To Grenada" Award

“We Made It To Grenada” Award

They brought us an award ribbon “We made it to Grenada!”.  They are so sweet!

Monday we got a taxi ride (with our soon-to-be favourite driver, Kerry) into Prickly Bay to clear in. We also got a lecture. Yes they are open and we must clear in within an hour of arriving and we should have called them. Really? How was I supposed to know they were open when I was told they weren’t! How do they expect me to call if I’m new in the country and can’t leave the boat to go get a phone until I’m cleared in! Do they have a VH F radio so we can contact them? Heck no! Why make it easy? Unpleasant customs and immigration – contact number one. There will be more. I try so hard to find out what we have to do and how we should proceed when we are entering new countries. It frustrates me greatly when the information isn’t on an official government website and the sites I find have conflicting information. Just write it down somewhere so I know the rules. I’m good with rules! Rant done!

Our taxi driver Kerry was great and has become our go to person, here in Grenada.

 

 

Dominica

Oh what a beautiful green island!

Leeward coast line

Leeward coast line

Mango trees everywhere!

Mangos Mangos everywhere

Mangos Mangos everywhere

The wind was blowing 30 knots coming into the harbour. Thank goodness for the Dominican boat boy, Alexis who greeted us, as soon as we neared the bay.

Our favourite boat guy!

Alexis, Our favourite boat guy!

We said we wanted a mooring ball and he said he’d meet us in farther. He obviously had other boats to greet coming in behind us. We spotted a mooring ball, Randy steered Moorahme gently toward it so I could hand Alexis our bridle.  Easy peasy – in 30 knot winds – securely fastened.

Raising the Dominican flag

Raising the Dominican flag

It was still so windy that we didn’t want to take the dinghy down and try to attach the motor. So, our boat guy came back to get us and took us to customs and immigration. It appeared to be in the fellows home – fridge, stove,  couch and a couple of rooms. We went to The Purple Turtle for dinner. There was a cultural group dancing.

Traditional Dominican dance and culture

Traditional Dominican dance and culture

And a truck full of music went down the street. We knew right away we were going to like Dominica!

Sandy Feet arrived the following day. It was great to see them. Andy helped cut down on the invasive Lion fish population.

Beautiful dangerous invasive Lion Fish.

Beautiful dangerous invasive Lion Fish.

It takes some talent to spear fish. Thanks Andy, it was delicious.

We went on a tour of the island with the Sandy Feet crew and another Canadian couple. I think we covered the whole island but not all of the sights. Our first stop was a typical little village where our tour guide had grown up.

Church in a little village

Church in a little village

Then on to the rum factor. The factory has had to stop production because a large area of sugar cane was washed away in the last hurricane. The sugar cane press was in need of repair. Randy was checking it out and we could practically see the wheels turning as he inspected what might need fixing.

Rum Factory -6 broken press

Rum Factory -broken press

The old building provided a bit of shade while we listened to how rum is made.

Rum Factory

Rum Factory

Then we got to sample the rum. 75% – 150 proof was knock you on your…… The 65% was much more palatable .

Rum Factory tasting room

Rum Factory tasting room

Next stop – snorkelling one of the many reefs and a stop for lunch.

Lunch after our snorkel on the reef

Lunch after our snorkel on the reef

Most of the islands have goats roaming all over.

Goats do roam

Goats do roam

Randy and I went on a cruise years ago where one of timagehe stops was Dominica. We went on a tour that took us to the same waterfalls that we stopped at on this tour. We tried to recreate the picture we took back then.

Falls

Falls

We also found a hot springs. And I mean hot – literally boiling out of the rock. You definitely didn’t want to put your feet in!

hot springs - and I mean boiling!!

hot springs – and I mean boiling!!

There was so much more to see and do but the calander was running down to our June 1 bossy insurance deadline. So off we go.

 

St Kitts & Nevis, and Guadeloupe

We had a brisk sail to St Kitts. We had to bypass Saba Island but hope to see it this coming winter.

Saba Island

Saba Island

Our plan, once we arrived in St. Kitts, was to anchor, eat sleep and go. But we needed fuel. So we had to go to a marina and once we were tied up at a marina we had to clear in.

Port Zante Marina at Basseterre in St. Kitts

Port Zante Marina at Basseterre in St. Kitts

Well, we might as well stay a few days. While Randy was at Customs, a dingy with our friends, Mary and Peter on Neko stopped by. They had just cleared in and were heading to an anchorage at White House Bay, about an hour away where our other friends Kathy and Ken on Sol Searching were anchored. We stayed the night At the marina and left the next morning for White House Bay.

Raising the St. Kitts & Nevis flag

Raising the St. Kitts & Nevis flag

What a beautiful anchorage. There was a ship wreck that we were able to snorkel and a lovely restaurant.

At The Salt Flats Restaurant

At The Salt Flats Restaurant

The restaurant is part of the resort that is being developed on the site of the old salt flats, along with a marina just around the point from the anchorage. The night we went to the restaurant there was a photo shoot going on. I rather suspect that Moorahmes  silhouette will be in the brochures.IMG_3471

IMG_3454

Next stop, Nevis to clear out of the country at Charestown. Where we finally catch up to Bonnie and Craig on Odin the Wanderer.

Beer me

Beer me

A few beer and a great lunch later it was time to go back to the boat to get ready for a pre-dawn start for our sail to Guadeloupe.

Nevis, almost always shrouded in clouds

Nevis, almost always shrouded in clouds

Nevis sunset after the rain

Nevis sunset after the rain

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Monserrat

We left well before dawn and sailed past the Kingdom of Redonda. It is an uninhabitable island and has an interesting history. The next island we passed was Monserrat.

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Lush and green

A large area of Monserrat  was destroyed by a still active volcano. Sometimes it’s safe to stop there and sometimes it’s ” not advised”. If we hadn’t been in a hurry to make our insurance company happy, we’d have stopped. This winter we hope to stop there. As we passed the area that was destroyed,  you can see the path of the lava flow and smell the sulphur in the air. Volcanic rock is very fertile. The vegetation is lush and green.

As we aproached Guadeloupe the water became rough and the wind picked up. We were looking forward to a nice calm anchorage. And I was looking forward to seeing the place where on of my favourite shows, Death In Paradise, is filmed. I got out the guide book and read the information on the town and anchorage at Deshais. It said the whole island of Guadeloupe acts like a wind funnel and Deshais is the vent. And we thought, yeah but it’ll be calm in the harbour, right? Wrong. We were reading 32 knots.

Our friends on Sandy Feet had radioed us earlier to say they were snorkelling in a bay farther down the island and that it was fairly calm. So off we went to Pidgeon Island. Sandy Feet had moved on by the time we got there but it was nice and calm so we anchored for the night, ate,  slept and carried on the next morning.

St Marten – finally a French island!

As students in Ontario, Canada, a long, long time ago, we were forced to take French language lessons up to and including grade 10, or the second year of high school. Perhaps I should have paid more attention while in class……

Marigot Bay, St. Martin

Marigot Bay, St. Martin

Marigot Bay is a great place to anchor. While passing s/v Kelly Nicole on the way out, we discovered that s/v Sandy Feet was still at anchor, but just about to make way. We hailed them on the VHF, and after exchanging excited pleasantries, the captain and crew of Sandy Feet told us that they would love to join us for a cup of coffee before heading out! Alright!!! Coffee grinder on, get the BIG cups out, and lets get caught up! Andy, Laura, Natalie and Alexa soon joined us on Moorahme. These people are awesome, I’ve told you that before, and you can look them google them – “Sandy Feet – Voyages of Adventure”….swimming with sharks, exploring old Caribbean forts…they are the bomb! We had a great hour with these folks, Andy and Laura ensured that we had some wifi passwords to use with our wifi extender to give us onboard wifi, and boom! they were off ahead of us again!

Customs was not available until Monday morning. So, first thing Monday morning we headed ashore to fill out the appropriate paperwork on a computer..with a French keyboard, which made things challenging. Finally, paperwork complete, no charges…free….no fees…….yahooooooo! Back to Moorahme, raise the courtesy flag now we are legal…and off we go!

Raising the French flag

Raising the French flag

Fresh baguettes, fresh croissants….French wine, cold beer, French women..ooops, didn’t mean to mention that<grin>

Coffee and a crepe - mmm, French food

Coffee and a crepe – mmm, French food

We dinghied in to the inside lagoon, had a nice but somewhat pricey breakfast, and then a walking tour of the downtown area. Formidable! Hey, that’s French for wow! We tried to enter a higher end wine store..but it was closed. And speaking of closed…don’t try to really do anything from 11:30 a.m. until at least 3:30 p.m., everything is closed…for lunch, nooners…whatever. What a wonderful lifestyle!IMG_3389

We discovered that a buddy boat from the Dominican Republic had discovered a great deal on bottom paint on the Dutch side…..Phillipsburg..of this island which is divided….French and Dutch. Once checked in on either side, you can easily travel back and forth between the two. S/V Neko was in the lagoon on the Dutch side, and we joined them for dinner one night. Peter and Mary are awesome hosts, and we had quite a time finding our way back to Moorahme in the dark…..lol….but we did find our way home eventually. More tours of the downtown area of St. Marten, a few trips to the

at Lagoonies with Kathy and Ken

at Lagoonies with Kathy and Ken

Dutch side to purchase our bottom paint and other such “boatie” items, and of course, a trip to the airport.

Plane landing - seemed close enough to touch!

Plane landing – seemed close enough to touch!

My goodness, what fun! Too bad that the area at the end of the runway has been fenced off, because I was truly looking forward to hanging on to the chain link fence such as you see on youtube.com when a large transatlantic jet was taking off. Not to be…I was satisfied with great food and cold beer and watching the frolickers on the beach.

Waiting to get blown down the sand bank by jet plane exhaust

Waiting to get blown down the sand bank by jet plane exhaust

Our tour of the fort overlooking St. Marten and Marigot Bay was pretty cool…it is disappointing that more care and $$$ are not spent on keeping this historic fort in good condition, but it is what it is.

Climbing the stairs to the fort

Climbing the stairs to the fort

That's our boat down there

That’s our boat down there

I am just very happy that we were not the tourists that were robbed on a Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. while viewing this splendid old fort. Another couple were not so fortunate.

It's quite a view up here!!

It’s quite a view up here!!

IMG_3380IMG_3384

St. Marten/Phillipsburg quickly became one of our favourite locations to visit, and we can’t wait to return there once hurrycame season is over.

Keep your stick on the ice!